Small and informal businesses in Gauteng can look forward to a face lift if the provincial government’s efforts go according plan.
The Gauteng provincial government has identified more than 37,000 properties, many of which it is looking to offer to township businesses.
According to Business Day, economic development MEC Lebogang Maile said this at an economic development road show, which was also attended by Premier David Makhura in Reiger Park, Ekurhuleni.
The Gauteng provincial government is considering turning its unoccupied, unused properties into sites for small businesses in township areas.
The assets registration process for the properties has not been completed.
“We have 65 townships and some of these have been identified as big impact townships and exist on the margins of big economies. These areas have lots of activity which if supported can address unemployment and poverty,” he said.
Makhura cited research from the University of Johannesburg, which revealed that the economy of Reiger Park was potentially worth R2bn, and that of Diepsloot close to R1.8bn.
Using idle buildings
Business Day reports that Maile said the provincial government needed to investigate how to convert government buildings not being utilised into facilities for business such as office parks.
“We also have industrial areas which are abandoned. We want to revitalise those so that communities have the opportunity to build their businesses there and do a range of things,” he said. “Many of our (small businesses) are operating from yards and garages. People don’t have space to operate their business. It is important to look at infrastructure.”
Last month Gauteng infrastructure development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said while a number of buildings owned by the provincial government were already being leased to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and small businesses, the department was looking for ways to utilise some of its vacant properties.